Firm Profile > BLM > Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant Tier 1

BLM regularly defends international insurers against high value claims and is praised for both its 'technical excellence' and 'very high level of client service'. The team isled by Cormac Fitzpatrick, who has 'enviable experience of handling catastrophic personal injury cases'. A team of partners including Peter Campbell and Alison Cassidy left to join DAC Beachcroft  in October 2020.

Practice head(s):


‘BLM stand out, from not only a technical excellence point of view, but also by providing a very high level of good customer/client service. ‘

‘BLM’s insurance team is my first stop for legal advice in Northern Ireland. The team is knowledgeable, approachable and really understands the market and the interests of insurance clients.’

‘The Belfast BLM team is exceptionally strong in defence insurance litigation. The team is the product of the merger of two exceptionally strong local litigation firms which, in turn, joined forces in recent years with one of the pre-eminent defence litigation firms nationally.’

Key clients



AXA insurance


Ageas Education Authority



BLM is an ambitious business and seen as one of the largest and most expert suppliers to the UK legal insurance market. The firm has made considerable progress through key strategic appointments and hires, growth of our international offering and operational improvements through investments in areas such as data analytics and technology.

The firm is focused on driving its business towards its vision to be the leader in its chosen markets of insurance and commerce.

 BLM’s purpose is to have a positive impact upon its clients’ businesses. Fundamentally, it is helping them to reduce the time and money they spend on managing risk and resolving disputes.  Described in client surveys and legal directories as a firm with “its finger on the pulse of the market” and as a “technical powerhouse”, it presently represents 18 of the top 20 UK insurers, and many corporate clients, both in the UK and worldwide

BLM has an existing strong remit of international work and contacts, representing UK companies operating abroad, acting for a breadth of international organisations and handling high profile multijurisdictional cases. In 2017 the firm created, along with several other founder members, Global Insurance Law Connect; a network which comprises like-minded risk and insurance law businesses. Global Insurance Law Connect comprises specialist insurance lawyers across more classes of business in more countries than many other similar networks. Global Insurance Law Connect was inspired by client demand and was established to support clients to confidently receive solutions to insurance and legal challenges around the globe.

The firm offers clients the best of both worlds: the experience of an established law firm, and the smart solutions of innovative technology and consultancy services. A key aspect of BLM’s strategic ambition is to provide an innovative offering around its advanced analytics capability. The firm’s partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science empowered it to grow this capability, developing prediction models to guide BLM’s advice to clients, as well as more sophisticated approaches to value litigation risk, improve decision-making and better manage portfolios of litigation risk. BLM Innovations, which the firm launched in 2019, comprises eight tools combining cutting-edge case management, communication and analytics tools to improve client outcomes and help with their business challenges. In July 2020 BLM added to its Innovations suite with the launch of Fraud Edge – a smart new tool enabling clients to understand potential exposure to those organisations or enablers that are suspected of presenting fraudulent claims.

The firm also launched consultancy offering, BLM Consult in 2019. The BLM Consult team has been created from a combination of lawyers, change consultants and lean practitioners, from a wide range of industry sectors who can work collaboratively with clients to help their own change journeys.

BLM’s team of over 200 partners and more than 600 legal specialists, focused upon the insurance and risk and commercial markets, is recognised for having the capability, creativity and energy to provide the right support to clients in a rapidly changing environment.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Matthew Harrington
Managing partner Vivienne Williams
Belfast Cormac Fitzpatrick
Birmingham Sarah Hill
Bristol Joe Wakeford
Cardiff Kerris Dale
Derry Cormac Fitzpatrick
Dublin Sinead Connolly and Olivia Treston
Edinburgh Ian Leach
Glasgow Frank Hughes
Leeds Henry Kirkup
Liverpool Joanne Francis
London Paula Jefferson
Manchester Luisa Lamb
Southampton Joe Wakeford
Global insurance law network Jim Sherwood
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Cormac Fitzpatrick photo Mr Cormac Fitzpatrick Partner
 Katrina Gray  photo Katrina Gray Katrina is a partner in the Belfast office and a qualified solicitor…
 Orla Mallon  photo Orla Mallon Partner
 Graeme Moore  photo Graeme Moore Graeme is a partner at BLM’s Belfast office and is regularly instructed…
Number of UK partners : 222
Number of other UK fee-earners : 643
Total staff : 1481

We are committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for our workforce. We seek to sustain a working, learning and social environment in which all our people can achieve their potential and are valued, recognised, supported and celebrated. In 2019 we were proud to have been ranked in a list of Top 50 UK employers for inclusiveness, a definitive list of UK based organisations that promote inclusion at each level of employment within their organisation. The list represents those companies which promote all strands of diversity including age, disability, gender, LGBT, race, faith and religion.

We were also the first law firm to officially sign up to The Inclusive Behaviours in Insurance Pledge, an initiative set up by Lloyd’s of London and Zurich to demonstrate the insurance industry’s commitment to creating a “culture where inclusive behaviours become the norm and where everyone is accepting of diversity.”

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace which reflects the diverse nature of the communities in which we work. We know that embracing difference contributes positively to a flourishing workforce.

We have completed our 2019 Gender Pay Gap overview, which reflects the required reporting details, including statistics for the firm’s pay and bonus gap, proportionality of male and female employees, as well as an overview of the approach we take to the wellbeing of all our employees. It is encouraging that the percentage of women in our upper quartile has increased this year along with significant improvement to our gender pay gap median, trends we are continuously seeking to maintain and improve. We have a constantly evolving leadership development programme at the firm, and the equality of opportunity provided by this programme can clearly be seen in the positive changes to our Gender Pay Gap year-on-year.